Most women and men are unaware that they have married narcissists. These individuals are so clever at disguising their dark side in the beginning. We fall in love with their facade--an elaborate mask of charm, magnetism, brightness, optimism--that lifts us up and makes us believe in magic. Before the marriage there may be hints of the true personality lying beneath the surface---flashes of temper, drumbeats of criticisms here and there, misstatements rather than the truth. Under the powerful sway of the narcissist these significant clues are overlooked. The marriage takes place and for a while it seems to be working. Then the emblematic narcissistic traits come to the surface. Classic narcissistic rage (over non-issues) bubbles forth and spews out onto the spouse. Many spouses automatically blame themselves rather than looking at the narcissist's inappropriate behavior. Then, the spouse becomes more and more aware of the narcissist's chronic lying. Catching a partner in lies is exceedingly painful each time it happens. The narcissist covers with another more convincing lie and never fesses up. Narcissists don't have a fully developed conscience. They only care about not getting caught. Then there are the put-downs, manipulations and humiliations that come next.
After months of years of these barrages, the non-narcissistic partner is psychologically confused and exhausted. She tells herself that it will all change if she is more understanding and patient. This tactic doesn't work and some spouses are in a constant state of duress often for years even decades wondering what they can do to make the relationship better. It can't improve because narcissists are incapable of forming real relationships. They only relate to themselves and their incessant demands. Some spouses develop chronic anxiety, insomnia and depression as a result of these marriages. The narcissistic spouse is spewing out psychologically poisonous venom at you every day. How much can you take? Are you willing to endanger your physical health? Are you aware of what this kind of toxic acrimonious environment is doing to your children?
Some spouses stay married to these severely disturbed individuals because of the financial security and lifestyle. Is it worth it when you cannot have one moment of peace, your stomach is always in knots and you are afraid that one of your children will become a narcissist? Making the life decision to sever your relationship from a narcissistic spouse is not easy. It is complex and the divorce process has many turns. Once your recognize that your life has value, that you deserve to pursue your creative gifts and make your own life decisions. There is good news from those who have severed their relationships with narcissistic spouses. Some of them wonder why it took them so long to develop a strong enough sense of self entitlement and healthy self regard to make this decision. Now freed, these individuals are freed up and grateful to reclaim their lives. To learn about the narcissistic personality disorder in-depth, visit my website: thenarcissistinyourlife.com
Linda Martinez-Lewi, Ph.D.
Telephone Consultation: United States and International
Book: Freeing Yourself from the Narcissist in Your Life
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